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    APPENDIX B. CHRIST, MAHOMET, OR CONFUCIUS?

    They who reject the Bible and the Atonement frequently refer to Mahomet and Confucius as being equally entitled with Christ, if not more than be, to honor and worship.AERS 344.2

    When persons compare the Koran with the Bible, and place Mahomet on an equality with Christ, we are constrained to think that they have never read the Koran (perhaps not the Bible), and have never inquired into the principles of the divine Government, nor sought to find a way to save fallen humanity, and vindicate divine justice. We have read the Koran with this thought in mind, desiring to find there these great principles and to give it credit for them if found; but did not find them. And from our reading of it, we should full sooner place the story of “Jack the Giant Killer” on a level with the American Encyclopedia, than place the Koran on a level with the Bible.AERS 344.3

    We shall all be agreed in regard to the infliction of punishment when it answers the end of justice; and that the divine Ruler has a perfect right to choose his own instruments to carry out his own purposes; that when nations become grossly immoral, he may use flood, fire, and tornado, the earthquake, or other nations, to effect their overthrow. When all the nations of earth had become corrupt, it became necessary to choose one family and plant them a separate people, and remove or destroy idolatry from their land, to acquaint them with the truth, and to preserve a genealogy that the world might be assured that the promises and prophecies were fulfilled in Messiah. As God overthrew the enraged Egyptians in mercy to his people, so the nations of Canaan, low sunken in idolatry and sensuality, were exterminated in mercy to the race, to unfold the doctrines and facts of the Messiah’s future kingdom. We see the wisdom of God in the Levitical law, for the gradual development of the great plan of salvation, both to make it plain to human reason, and to impress it deeply on the human heart. 1See “Philosophy of the Plan of Salvation.”AERS 345.1

    The Bible reveals the faults of God’s people, but does not justify them. It teaches love, kindness, good-will, humility, self-denial, purity, and all that is “lovely and of good report” in the human character; while it offers the only means to raise and restore the erring to the favor of a just Creator.AERS 345.2

    It offers only joys that are pure, free from vanity and corruption; free from all that is low and sensual. The Koran, on the contrary, leads to hatred, to violence, to bloodshed, without even an effort to make this a mere element or necessity of a plan to eventuate in redemption; it presents the hope of power here, and of lustful gratification hereafter; the hope of overthrowing their enemies here as the best means of enjoying a plurality of wives in paradise! Not one principle of justice to be gained—not one attribute of God honored and glorified. Truly, he must be ignorant or depraved (or both) who compares the Koran to the Bible; and that this is often done we take as evidence of the perverseness of humanity.AERS 346.1

    Bishop Sherlock made the following just comparison:—AERS 346.2

    “Go to your Natural Religion; lay before her Mahomet and his disciples arrayed in armor and in blood, riding in triumph over the spoils of thousands and tens of thousands who fell by his victorious sword. Show her the cities which he set in flames, the countries which he ravaged and destroyed, and the miserable distress of all the inhabitants of the earth. When she has viewed him in this scene, carry her into his retirements, show her the prophet’s chamber, his concubines and wives, and let her see his adulteries, and hear him allege revelation, and his divine commission, to justify his lusts and his oppressions. When she is tired with this prospect, then show her the blessed Jesus, humble and meek, doing good to all the sons of men, patiently instructing the ignorant and the perverse. Let her see him in his most retired privacies; let her follow him to the mount, and hear his devotions and supplications to God. Carry her to his table, to view his poor fare, and hear his heavenly discourse. Let her see him injured, but not provoked. Let her attend him to the tribunal, and consider the patience with which he endured the scorns and reproaches of his enemies. Lead her to his cross, and let her view him in the agonies of death, and hear his last prayer for his persecutors: ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ When Natural Religion has viewed them both, ask which is the prophet of God. But her answer we have already had; when she saw part of this scene through the eyes of the centurion who attended him at the cross; by him she said, Truly, this is the Son of God.” 1The Cottage Bible says of Mahomet: “Most of the truths of divine revelation he has discarded, only he acknowledges the divine mission of Jesus, and so far may be considered a witness for Christianity.” But even this is, I think, more than should be either claimed or granted, especially as some might thence infer that there is an agreement between the two; for though he may acknowledge the “divine mission” of Jesus, he does not acknowledge his divinity, for he says, Koran, Chap. iv., “God is but one God; far be it from him that he should have a son. “Several other expressions show that he denied the divinity of Christ.AERS 346.3

    Confucius is doubtless entitled to more respect than Mahomet, for there appears to be no evidence that he was an imposter; for he was not a religious leader. And therefore they who put him forth as a rival to Christ are no more entitled to credit than the devotees or apologists of Mahomet. All that is known of Confucius is by Chinese tradition, which to those in anywise acquainted with the Chinese character, will not seem entitled to any great credit. Holding that all beyond their own borders are barbarians, they shut themselves up in their self-conceit; and from the divine titles and honors paid to their rulers, we may readily and justly conclude that the memory of “the Teacher,” as they term Confucius, has not suffered in their hands. They never speak of their rulers without using the most extravagant language; and if their emperor is sick, he can have nothing less than a “celestial disease”! Their literature is generally considered below mediocrity; their educational systems tax the memory rather than the judgment; how then shall we arrive at a certainty as to the real merits of Confucius?AERS 347.1

    As a specimen of their literature, take the following:—AERS 348.1

    “The great extreme is merely the immaterial principle. It is not an independent, separate existence; it is found in the male and female principles of nature, in the five elements, in all things; it is merely an immaterial principle, and because of its extending to the extreme limit, is therefore called the great extreme.... .AERS 348.2

    “The great extreme is simply the extreme point, beyond which one cannot go; that which is most elevated, most mysterious, most subtle, and most divine, beyond which there is no passing.... It is the immaterial principle of the two powers, the four forms, and the eight changes of nature; we cannot say that it does not exist, and yet no form or corporeity can be ascribed to it. From this point is produced the one male and the one female principle in nature, which are called the dual powers; the four forms and eight changes also proceed from this, all according to a certain natural order, irrespective of human strength in its arrangement. But from the time of Confucius no one has been able to get hold of this idea.”—Chinese Repository, Vol. 13.AERS 348.3

    If this were a specimen of Confucius’ philosophy (which it probably is not), we could not wonder that A. J. Davis should put him in the “Pantheon;” for the above resembles the philosophy of Davis enough to have been written by his twin brother!AERS 349.1

    The “Middle Kingdom,” a history of the Chinese Empire, contains the following statement:—AERS 349.2

    “The remarks of Confucius upon religious subjects were very few; he never taught the duty of man to any higher power than the head of the State or family, though he supposed himself commissioned by Heaven to restore the doctrines and usages of the ancient kings. He admitted that he did not understand much about the gods; that they were beyond and above the comprehension of man, and that the obligations of man lay rather in doing his duty to his relatives and society, than worshiping spirits unknown.”—Vol. 2, p. 236.AERS 349.3

    This is quite as good as we could expect from a heathen politician; but that professed reformers, who acknowledge moral relations and moral obligation, should quote him as an oracle, or place him on a level with Christ, and his teachings on a level with the morality of the Bible, is strange indeed. The gospel alone shows how God may be just and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus; it alone shows the true relative importance of love to God and love to our fellow-men; it alone proclaims, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”AERS 349.4

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